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Steven Foster, Managing Director Schindler MENA highlights the Swiss engineering company’s mobility expertise on the project

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Published: Mon 26 Sep 2022, 8:00 AM

Briefly explain the philosophy behind Schindler and its journey in the MENA region.

Schindler is a 150-year-old Swiss family company. Our core philosophy is to do business around a set of values that are non-negotiable. These values include Safety, Quality, Delivering Customer Value, Integrity and Trust and People Development. Our view is that if we take care of the core values, the business growth will take care of itself. The MENA region is one of the key growth markets for the Group, and therefore, we aim to be the best service provider in the industry by continuing to develop highly innovative and user-friendly mobility solutions specifically tailored to this market.

Tell us about Schindler’s role in the futuristic Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences on Palm Jumeirah.

The Royal Atlantis is an extraordinary building with a unique design and complexity. At the peak of its making, there were around 14,000 people working on site. The project required a set of very clearly set out procedures for planning, installation and execution. As a global pioneer in the elevator and escalator industry, Schindler Group sets itself apart through its rigorous practices, uniquely designed in Switzerland and consistently applied throughout the world — be it in Switzerland, South Africa or Vietnam, we install a lift in the same manner. This ensures quality throughout in a safe manner. A vital role that we play in any project of this size is auditing on a regular basis as part of a clearly defined process. For instance, for Atlantis, The Royal, we had several independent checks at regular milestones to ensure compliance and quality. Secondly, it is important to have clear and open communication with the main contractor to make sure that the complexities at any stage could be worked through.

Thirdly, it is important to appoint the right project leadership and staff that is technically well-trained and motivated and matches our ambitions. It’s important to highlight that all our technicians on this site have been fully certified to the Schindler standard.

What are some of the challenges in sharing public spaces and how were you able to ensure that in this project?

Safety is one of our core values. Therefore, whenever we look at a project, we also do a safety assessment first to make sure that the main contractor has the right safety protocols that are aligned with our own. On this site, there were many people working in the same shared space, and it was important to stick to a set of clear methods and processes, but also to provide additional levels of intervention. For instance, we made sure to have a daily risk assessment meeting. Before beginning work in the morning, the team would get

together and discuss any issues on site, what may have moved overnight, the plan for the day and how we would achieve it, safely. This was an important change in culture, allowing our fitters and technicians to speak up and address their areas of concern and how to overcome them before commencing work. Our commitment is that every day our colleagues get home safely to their families.

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